ANDHRA PRADESH

Broad gauge line ready for trial run

R. Jagadeeswara Rao

Naupada - Parlakhemundi line is part of 90-km gauge conversion project



Remaining gauge conversion work will be over by 2011

Kothavalasa-Vizianagaram third line works going on at brisk pace



VISAKHAPATNAM: The broad gauge railway line between Naupada and Parlakhemundi, a long-cherished dream of people in parts of Srikakulam and Gajapthi districts, is ready and the mandatory trial run of train on this 40 km new rail track, which was postponed because of election code, will be carried out anytime after April 23.

Code effect

It may be recalled here that officials had made all arrangements to carry out the trial run in the second week of April, when the district collectors of Srikakulam and Gajapati (Orissa), wrote to the railway authorities not to take up the trial run till the election process is over, because some contesting candidates had complained that the trial run amounted to violation of election code of conduct.

The 40 km. stretch between Naupada and Parlakhemundi is part of gauge conversion project between Naupada and Gunupur covering a total distance of about 90 km.

According to authorities concerned, the trial run would be followed by introduction of departmental trains and heavy duty machines. Then the Commissioner of Railway Safety, an independent authority with headquarters at Kolkata, would issue clearance for running regular passenger trains. The total cost of the project was Rs.168 crores and so far Rs.120 crores had been spent. The remaining work between Parlakhemundi and Gunupur is also progressing well and is likely to be completed soon.

Major work done

Work on major bridges in this stretch had already been completed. According to authorities, linking work is likely to be completed by June. There is some problem in procuring ballasts for this track.

However, authorities are confident of overcoming this. Officials claimed good progress of third line project work between Kottavalasa and Vizianagaram.

Three agencies have been working to complete works including earth work, minor bridges, linking of track etc, expeditiously. Cost of this 36-km third line is Rs.200 crores. This includes electrification of track. According to officials this project is scheduled to be completed by June 2011.

Regarding the fourth line between Kottavalasa and Simhachalam (North), officials concerned said major bridge works had commenced. Cost of this 16 km rail track is Rs.92 crores.

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